I Introduce some of the loveliest human beings on Earth.
My mom has always had an uncanny ability to attract and befriend warm-hearted, resilient, intrinsically motivated, trustworthy, self-aware, unselfconscious people. But what she’s always loved most is introducing them. After all, when you connect two people with that many positive traits, they’re bound to become friends, collaborators, or some sort of comrades in commerce.
Growing up watching my mom, it’s no surprise I got the bug to introduce the same type of folks – who I call Sugarmaples – myself. I started as a teen and, thirty years later, I’m still at it.
In the last few years, with the explosion of social networks, introducing Sugarmaples has become much easier and more fun. So easy and fun, in fact, that it’s pretty much taken over my life in a way it never did before.
The only way to keep up this new pace of introductions without burning myself out or driving my wife insane, I finally realized, was to build an app Sugarmaples around the world can use to find each other and connect, on their own.
The app is coming soon. Stay tuned.
“I continue to love what you’re doing. Great ideas.”
“The best lunch date of my life. We were there for two and a half hours, but could easily have stayed for five.”
“If an eagle and a tiger had a human baby that was then raised by ninjas, it would be Ted.”
“Ted is extraordinary at what he does, and he’s a man of his word.”
“It was a wonderful time and a really great meal.”
“I had a very enjoyable lunch with Seth [Godin] yesterday — a smart and likable guy. There are degrees of kindredness (as well as of heresy). But we do seem to share a fair amount. Thanks for matching us.”
“It was such a great experience that I’m wracking my brain for other problems in my business that Ted could solve with a thoughtful connection.”
“I wanted to thank you again for the past weekend’s amazing fun and incredible opportunity to have an exchange of notions with Anil [Dash]. I feel even richer for the ideas & starting-places that have come out of the whole thing!”
“You know how it seems like everyone has a personal trainer, now? I believe Ted is the progenitor of a new kind of empathy-based collective problem solving that everyone will take for granted some day.”
“Sugarmaples is a collection of passionate, ambitious, big-hearted visionaries, and Ted is the Master Cultivator.”
“I have to say, you are very good at what you do. The timing was perfect and with one introduction you’ve enabled a ton of fruitful connections (which in the long run, might actually help save lives) in the span of a few days.”
When Sugarmaples meet, it’s magic.
In 2013, I found out a whole bunch of Sugarmaples were struggling with the same problem. Brand writer Mike Reed, comedian Eugene Mirman, hand-letterer Jessica Hische, writer/entrepreneur Anil Dash, software designer Sarah Parmenter, and about fifteen other Sugarmaple creatives were all frustrated by a lack of time for passion projects. So, I brought them together to come up with a solution. We called the event a Meddle and made a little film about it.
The Semaan-Vernons and Shapiro-Perazas
Last year I met a Sugarmaple couple, Celine Semaan Vernon, the founder of Slow Factory, and her husband, Colin Vernon, the head of web and mobile development at LittleBits. I immediately realized I should introduce them and their 18-month-old daughter, Sila, to Deroy Peraza, the co-founder of Hyperakt, his wife, Jenna Shapiro, an education expert and activist – a nearby Sugarmaple couple – and their 18-month-old son, Luco. So, I treated them to a picnic in Prospect Park. The two families have become incredibly close.
This is a photo of Sila and Luco, saying goodbye, after the end of the picnic, in front of the Shapiro-Peraza’s front door.
Phil Caravaggio and Rodrigo Corral
Phil Caravaggio, a Sugarmaple and the CEO of Precision Nutrition, came to me a few months ago wanting help figuring out how to gift a special, custom hardcover book to a potential business partner. So I snapped into research mode to find a Sugarmaple with the right expertise to make it happen. I finally found that Sugarmaple in Rodrigo Corral, one of the world’s finest book designers.
The two have become good friends and the book goes to print next month.
Frequently asked questions.
When is the Sugarmaples app coming out?
We’re shooting, conservatively, for August 1st.
What platform is the app going to be available for?
Initially iPhone. Android down the road.
How do I become a part of this?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you call them Sugarmaples?
It’s a long story, but I named them in honor of my mom.
Who drew the trees illustration?
Who shot/edited the video?
Who animated the opening video sequence?
Who composed the music for the video?
Who designed the Meddle logo?
My name is Ted Pearlman. I’m married to Allison, an architect. We have a ridiculous second-grader, Oscar, and an enormous Newfoundland, Tatou, who’s famous on the Internet. I’m a Cornell alum and tech industry (Sony / IBM / Roguewave / CQG) refugee. My other passion project is Fall: In Love with Music, a new kind of venue I’m developing for Denver.